Before getting deeper into the weekend, we have some noteworthy comments about how June will end and July will begin from a sports media angle here:
== Yes, there’s another massive cleanup in Aisle 1 at L.A.-based Fox Sports. AwfulAnnouncing.com’s Ben Koo and Andrew Bucholtz are there with a damp sponge and magnifying glass, concluding with a piece entitled: “Frustration, uncertainty, dread and layoffs: An inside look at Jamie Horowitz’s takeover of Fox Sports Digital: Fox Sports’ mass layoffs were the coup de grace of a period that saw Horowitz prioritize the promotion of television personalities and programs over digital content”
As the Koo piece includes about the revamped FoxSports.com: “Mass layoffs (some revealed Monday) were the coup de grace of a period that saw Horowitz prioritize the promotion of television programs and personalities over digital content, even enlisting veteran reporters to ghost-write or compose “as told to” content during Super Bowl week for talking heads like Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless.”
Honey, I’m home. pic.twitter.com/7pC2f29lvr
— Joe Davis (@Joe_Davis) June 25, 2017
== One more look at what Joe Davis pulled off last weekend in order to cover two Dodgers’ home games against Colorado at Dodger Stadium sandwiched between an Angels-Red Sox game at Fenway Park — and doing so as he went against the clock in all instances:
= As Davis tweeted out some facts — he said he was supposed to miss the entire Dodgers-Rockies series “but as this series got big, I got creative” — and also gave us more inside about how he made it all work out, even with so much out of his hands.
After Friday’s 6-1 Dodgers win over the Rockies in 2 hours, 55 minutes, Davis headed straight to LAX, arrived at 11 p.m. in time to board an 11:50 p.m. red eye to Boston. Landed there at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
= Saturday’s Angels-Red Sox game at Fenway was a Fox regional broadcast that started at 7:15 p.m. EDT/4:15 p.m. PDT. The Angels’ 6-3 win took 3 hours, 34 minutes.
= Davis got onto an early-morning flight in Boston (7:15 a.m. EDT) to fly with the clock to L.A., waking up at about 6 a.m. EDT, or 3 a.m. PDT (still body time). He landed about 10:40 a.m. on Sunday morning, and arrived at Dodger Stadium just before noon for the 1:10 p.m. game — which would end up as a Dodgers’ 12-6 win in the longest nine-inning game ever played at Dodger Stadium, 4 hours, 19 minutes.
He said he got to bed at his home in Pasadena on Sunday at 9 p.m.
Things such as games and flights and other transportation doesn’t always cooperate. Had the Dodgers’ game Friday night extended into extra innings, Davis said: ” I hadn’t thought much about that honestly, but I guess I would’ve found the earliest flight out Saturday morning and cut it close in Boston.”
Had the Angels-Red Sox game went longer, he could have adjusted a bit and maybe taken a red-eye back to L.A.
Davis did a Saturday game for Fox on May 20 — San Francisco at St. Louis — that was scoreless after nine innings, scoreless after 12 innings, and the Giants pulled off a 3-1 win in the 13th, but it still only took 3 hours, 42 minutes. That weekend, Davis missed the Friday, Saturday and Sunday games of the Dodgers-Marlins series at Dodger Stadium.
The 29-year-old Davis said his next Fox assignment won’t be as stressful — the Dodgers-Royals July 8 game from Dodger Stadium for Fox — as the network’s “Baseball Night in America” package ends at the All-Star Break. He says he won’t miss another Dodgers assignment until football season begins in September.
In an interview for “Mason and Ireland” on KSPN-AM (710) on Monday, Davis said: “Knock on wood if I ever try that again. It was pretty much hang-up free.”
Joe Davis would never say this — he is a classy professional, after all — but his devotion to saving fans from Charley Steiner is admirable.
— Jeff J. Snider (@snidog) June 23, 2017
== Davis has no assignments for Fox this weekend. The Saturday schedule has Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal doing N.Y. Yankees at Houston (4 p.m., going to 73 percent of the country, including L.A.), with Kenny Albert, Tom Verducci and Jon Paul Morosi doing Cleveland at Detroit (7 percent) and Justin Kutcher and Eric Karros have Washington at St. Louis (19 percent).
== ESPN says former No. 1 women tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, still without a major victory, is the feature model for its ninth-annual BODY magazine issue that comes out July 7, timed as well with her comeback from injury to play at Wimbledon, which ESPN covers wall to wall.
Wozniacki, the “Great Dane” once engaged to golfer Rory McIlroy, also appeared in body paint for Sports Illustrated’s 2016 swimsuit issue.
ESPN/ESPN2/ABC’s 140-some hours of TV coverage devoted to Wimbledon, plus about 1,500 hours live from 15 courts on ESPN3, starts Monday at 4 a.m. PDT and runs through the women’s championship/men’s doubles championship on July 15 and then the men’s championship/mixed doubles championship on July 16. Qualifying is also available four days on ESPN3 through Thursday, an event that has never before been aired for the media.
Chris Fowler is the main lead play-by-play man with Cliff Drysdale. Analysts include John and Patrick McEnroe, Chris Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez, Darren Cahill, Mardy Fish and Brad Gilbert. Other talent on hand is Chris McKendry, Tom Rinaldi, Pam Shriver and Patrick Mouratolou, who has been Serena Williams’ coach since 2012, and available as an analyst.
== Santa Monica-based Tennis Channel will carry more than 200 hours over the two weeks of Wimbledon starting Monday at 1:30 p.m., focused on its “Wimbledon Primetime” wrapup show. Mary Carillo and Bill Macatee are the hosts with analysts Martina Navratilova, Jim Courier, Lindsay Davenport, Justin Gimelstob and former coach Paul Annacone. Also involved in the coverage is Brett Haber, Steve Weissman and Sports Illustrated reporter Jon Werthheim.
The “Racquet Bracket: Wimbledon” draw show airs Friday at 4 p.m. with a Wimbledon preview on Sunday at 5 p.m. More info: tennischannel.com
== Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas call, with guest analyst Timothy Bradley Jr., the Manny Pacquiao rare non-PPV bout that ESPN carries on Saturday at 6 p.m. from Brisbane, Australia against Jeff Horn, going after Pacquaio’s WBO welterweight title. ESPN Deportes has Jorge Eduardo Sanchez and Juan Manuel Marquez do it Spanish.
== Tessitore is also one of the hosts, with Mike Greenberg, Cassidy Hubbarth and Cari Champion who represent ESPN folk to dress up the ABC revival of “Battle of the Network Stars” that starts Thursdays from 9-10 p.m. taped recently at Pepperdine University in Malibu, where the series was once done with Howard Cosell and Don Drysdale, among others, some 40 years ago, when it as actors and actresses from the three major networks (CBS, NBC, ABC) making up the teams. Now, it’s all ABC-related people. Bigger and better? You decide. If only we could get Caitlyn Jenner to appear as herself today with flashbacks to Bruce Jenner of the past.
== Ted Robinson, Rowdy Gaines and reporter Trenni Kusnierek are in Indianapolis for NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Swimming Championships. Live coverage started Tuesday on NBCSN and continues Wednesday (4 p.m.), Thursday and Friday on Universal HD (3 p.m.), plus Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. (delayed) on Channel 4, followed each day by live coverage of the Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields, Ill.
== NBC picks up the second half of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series with Rick Allen, Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte as the main voices, starting with the event back at Daytona International Speedway (Channel 4, Saturday at 4 p.m.)
Krista Voda is the pre-race host with Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. Pit reporters include Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns and Parker Kligerman, with feature reporters Rutledge Wood and Ato Boldon.
== ESPN recruited Jon Stewart, former host of “The Daily Show,” to do a piece for Sunday’s “SportsCenter SC Featured” segment on Warrior Games athlete Christy Gardner, who competes in this event sponsored by the Department of Defense for wounded, injured or ill service personnel and vets. It runs June 30-July 8 in Chicago. Stewart has campaigned for veterans during his “Daily Show” run. He and Hannah Storm will anchor “SportsCenter” segments from the Warrior Games on July 7.
== Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen return for their 32nd year together to call the NBC Sports coverage of the Tour de France, starting Saturday at 6 a.m. with Stage 1 on NBCSN. Former French racer Jens Voigt is there as an analyst. Paul Burmeister will host daily pre-race and primetime studio with Christian Vande Velde and Bob Roll.
LINKS WORTH A LOOK
== “Vin Scully retired last year, which immediately reduced the population of sports announcers whom no one seems to hate from one to zero,” writes Neil Best at New York Newsday in a piece entitled, “Why Do So Many Fans Hate Sports Announcers,” and of course has a photo of Joe Buck.
== Sure, Britt McHenry was let go by ESPN because of her political slant. Keep thinking that.
== The Dodgers’ SportsNet L.A. distribution issues in Season 4 is the reason why Dodgers aren’t getting voted into an exhibition game. That’s your hand-wringing premise today. Now write.
== In a non-Olympic year, one can take more time to become familiar with what’s is trying to be accomplished with this new Olympic Channel, launched in August of last year as a way to provide “a new way to engage younger generations, fans and new audiences with the Olympic Movement.” Based in Madrid, Spain, it’s main platform is olympicchannel.com.
For example, a five-episode feature series called “Identify” launches this week, focused on five transgender athletes and how sports helped them find their identities. One is University of Santa Cruz volleyball player Chloe Anderson: “At the end of the day, I’m just a person that loves volleyball, and I want to play it. I just love the sport that I play, and I want to try and continue to do it, so I just keep pushing to make sure I do.”
TWEET OF THE WEEK
And so it begins… pic.twitter.com/2Nw2pmCqAt
— Alex Faust (@alex_faust) June 28, 2017
Thanks (we think) to the L.A. Press Club. We still await some official notification from anyone who knows anything outside of social media.
But even then … as Vin Scully might say: If you want to make God cringe, invite Him to read Twitter. Or wait a fewe of hours for a correction:
The original tweet is incorrect. The names are Tom Hoffarth and Vin Scully.
— So Cal News Group (@SoCalNewsGroup) June 27, 2017
And KTLA Channel 5’s Derrin Horton as SoCal Sports Journalist of the Year? Hmmm. Is that Mertin or Horton?